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Notorious “Grandma May” back in timber business

Written by Thailand News

Infamous Vietnamese timber trader in Cambodia, commonly known as “Grandma May” is back in timber business after she was released on bail in late January by the court in Oddar Meanchey despite having been busted with a large stockpile of rosewood in her home last year, according to The Phnom Penh Post Online on Tuesday.

Some two tonnes of rosewood were found in the house of Mrs Nguyen Thimay or Grandma May in her commune home in Anlong Veng in February last year.  But she was arrested in November and charged with violating articles 96 and 98 of the Forestry Law for illegal felling of timber, which carries up to five years’ imprisonment.

However, in January this year she was released on bail by the court in Oddar Meanchey, according to the court clerk Soy Kanya who declined to answer further questions about her trial.

But this was not Grandma May’s only brush with the law in 2017.  In July, she was arrested in Kampong Thom province for faking licence plates and was handed a token fine and two-year jailterm, but only served three months in jail.

Retired deputy provincial police chief Ke Khanara who was responsible for arresting Grandma May said Nguyen Thimay’s case made him “feel very sorry”, adding that given his retirement he has no power to deal with the case.

Environmental activist Ouch Leng said in an email that Thimay has allegedly logged and processed rosewood and other timber for many decades.

The activist also expressed disappointment over her release.

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